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Who is Kamran, the MCU’s newest superpowered kid?

Ms. Marvel’s Kamran is cribbed from a recurring teen villain of Marvel’s comics

Rish Shah as Kamran in Ms. Marvel. He’s looking around the edge of a wall covertly. Photo: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Five episodes into its six-episode season, Ms. Marvel viewers are well familiar with Kamran, son of the ruthless Najma, a visitor from another dimension stranded in our own. And with this week’s episode, the Disney Plus series has moved the troubled kid one step closer to his comic book origin.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel through episode 5, “Time and Again.”]

In Captain Marvel cosplay, Ms. Marvel holds out her hand, which is covered in glowing light. Image: Marvel Studios

Given how much Ms. Marvel’s version of Kamala Khan’s origin story diverges from the comics, you could be forgiven for assuming Kamran is an original character to the show. But he’s actually got a comic book counterpart: Kamran (also no last name), a recurring jerk who bugs Kamala for a couple of story arcs in her first comic series.

Kamran first appeared as a friend of the Khan family whose folks had just moved back to Jersey City from Texas. Kamala last saw him when they were 5 years old, and in the meantime he’d grown up into a suave, smart-dressing cutie — who had Inhuman superpowers just like her! Romance blossomed between them, but, as is the case with approximately 70% of all potential superhero love interests, Kamran turned out to be bad guy after all.

Ms. Marvel leaps over Kamran — whose skin is glowing brightly with his Inhuman power — saying “Oh, it’s over, Kamran. We are SO breaking up.” “KHAAAAAAN!” yells Kamran after her, in Ms. Marvel #15 (2015). Image: G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa/Marvel Comics

What he really wanted from Kamala was to press-gang her into working for a local crime family that had recently discovered their own Inhuman powers. When Kamala proved too tough to capture or convert, Kamran went after her brother, Aamir, and tried to activate his latent Inhuman genes. Kamran’s efforts only gave Aamir temporary superpowers — and Aamir wasn’t particularly enthused about joining a superpowered gang, either.

What are Kamran’s powers in the comics?

Rish Shah as Kamran in Ms. Marvel. He’s holding his fist in front of his face as it glows. Image: Marvel Studios

If this week’s episode of Ms. Marvel isn’t setting up Kamran to get his own superpowers, then it’s a hell of a feint. In a final gesture of love toward her rejected son, Najma gives her life to close the tear in the Veil, and the act seems to have redirected some kind of Noor energy Kamran’s way. After it slams into him, he raises a fist covered in what looks like a variant of Kamala’s hard-light power, just in a more masculine color — which is pretty much what Kamran’s powers looked like in the comic.

“You... you’re Inhuman too?” asks Kamala Khan, holding Kamran’s hands. All the parts of his body not covered by clothes are glowing bright, in Ms. Marvel #14 (2015). Image: G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa/Marvel Comics

In the comics, Kamran could overload objects with a biokinetic charge that would cause them to explode — quite similar to Gambit from the X-Men. But based on the final moments of “Time and Again,” it looks like Kamran has pretty much the same abilities as Kamala, from how he fires a bolt of hard light at a Damage Control drone and inadvertently blows up the Circle Q.

What’s next for Kamran? We’ll have to wait for Ms. Marvel’s season finale on July 13.

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